Meet Josephine Wall: “Fantasy gives me the opportunity to portray the world as I would like it to be.”

Introducing fantasy artist Josephine Wall! Josephine's art graces several Peter Pauper Press products, including our lovely new Crystal of Enchantment Journal (shown below).

"Jo" is internationally renowned for her enchanting, intricate fantasy images. Her artwork is found on puzzles, calendars, posters, stationery, journals, bookmarks, and much more. Fans say "Jo Wall's artwork is magic" and feel that simply viewing her surreal and romantic paintings inspires positive energy and a sense of wonder.

Jo says her work reflects her passion for nature and myth. "Much of my inspiration comes from observation of nature." She also credits the work of Arthur Rackham, Salvador Dali, René Magritte, and the Pre-Raphaelites as among those influencing her compositions. Her family provides inspiration as well — Jo and her husband Bob have five children and eleven grandchildren.

She works in an attic studio in a wisteria-covered cottage in Dorset in southwest England on the Channel coast. "The wisteria blooms every May; its fragrance combines with that of her bluebells to produce a gorgeous scent."

Jo says she decided to become an artist when she was four years old. "In fact, in my first little junior school we were each given boxes of wax crayons for 'drawing time' and even now the smell of wax crayons will bring back the memory of the happiness I felt.'' The artist says it has taken her a "lifetime" to learn to paint and develop her unique style of visual storytelling. She paints in acrylics and her paintings take from two to four weeks on average to complete.

Does she have a favorite color? "I do have many favorite colors which I am often drawn to, for instance all shades of lilac (which I often mix myself) and golden ochre, which is good for use as a wash to give an all-over glow. The only color I never use is black. My dark hues are created by mixing, for instance, burnt umber (a lovely earth color) with ultramarine blue. I also hardly ever use red. The nearest is burnt sienna or permanent rose."


Jo says she is always inspired. "Time is one of my greatest enemies; there are never enough hours in the day to paint all the images in my head. I feel I have a responsibility to keep painting as long as I am able, artists never retire. In fact, if I am away from my easel for too long I become restless and anxious to paint again.”

She feels creative people have a special appreciation of nature. "I believe it is due to their sensitivity and ability to observe more closely and be open to act as a channel for the energy of Mother Earth."

What does Jo think of current trends in fantasy? "I am very pleased to note that over the last few years there has been a marked popularity increase in 'fantasy' art.  Maybe this is due to the very hard times that many of us find ourselves in . . . it provides some escapism, or perhaps it is just that people are now more willing to allow their inner child out!  Children have never had a problem with accepting fantasy as a version of reality, and I think it is very important that as adults we still stay in touch with that reality.  An interesting quotation from Ralph Hodgson: 'Some things have to be believed to be seen' — How true!"

You'll find much more about Josephine Wall at her Web site.

Information about Jo and featured blog post image are from her Web site and used with her permission. Photographs of Dorset, England © David Crosbie (top) and © Julian Elliott (second and third images) /

Things To Do In Birmingham When You’re Dead (Tired)…

Having a jolly good time in the UK right now. The Spring Fair is going well and we’re meeting all sorts of lovely people with posh accents. I love it.

As for the title of this blog, in order to get to the happy place I’m in today we had to power through some grueling stuff. Packing up the NY show, jumping on a flight from JFK to Heathrow (or Newark to Birmingham) and then up to Birmingham in one day. Not much sleep on that flight as it arrived in the UK when it was about 12:30 at night for us. Onwards and upwards! After a short Virgin Trains ride up to the Midlands and immediately set up our booth here. Yes, we set the walls as well as the product on little to no sleep. That’s my excuse for the unique look. 🙂


After setting up we headed out into Birmingham’s Bullring Mall (ok, it was the next day, we did manage to get a few hours sleep the second 24 hrs we were up) and promptly tried some Fentiman’s soda. Can’t say we’d repeat the process, but the Dandelion and Burdock was… interesting. The Bullring continues to amaze me with crowds as big as any in the US – on Black Friday! Only, it was just a Sunday here. Wow. Hope that proves the economy is recovering all over the world.



The first day of the show, fantasy artist Josephine Wall stopped by. We managed to get some photos and she was nice enough to autograph a few copies of the journals we have with her artwork on the cover – including the new Crystal of Enchantment Journal. Sweet!



That night, our colleagues from White Pebble International (who function as Peter Pauper Press, UK) invited us out for a proper pub dinner. We went to The Boot Inn in Warwickshire. Everybody had a blast (or a ball) with some lovely local pints of Pure UBU Amber Ale, followed by fish and chips, and various other scrumptious morstles. Thank you to Adam, Susan, Claire, and Craig. Many a laugh was had that night and recorded for posterity on John’s 20 pound note.




On Monday night we ventured forth into Birmingham proper, with a trek to Lasan for some exquisite gourmet Indian food. YUM! They served us some gratis amuse bouche of some sort of salmon cake, and entertained us with elegant wipes (ok, we all thought they were mints before the waiter poured hot water on them and they expanded into wetnaps.) I highly recommend this place.


The inner history geek in me had to rejoice that while I was here it was revealed the that skeletal remains found at Greyfriar’s church were indeed Richard III. Wow. Amazing what they can prove with DNA these days.